Trade attacks Tory proposals to hike beer prices

11 July 2007 by
Trade attacks Tory proposals to hike beer prices

Five trade associations have hit out at Conservative Party plans to increase the tax on alcohol.

A joint letter to shadow chancellor George Osborne expresses concerns about the proposal and states that such a dramatic increase in taxes would have a damaging effect on businesses in the sector.

The Tories have proposed a seven pence a pint increase in alcohol tax in a bid to double the £400m currently spent on the treatment of drug and alcohol problems, while warning that alcohol has become too affordable.

But the letter says: "While we believe these proposals are undoubtedly well intentioned we do not believe they would contribute to solving the problem of alcohol misuse, but would penalise the vast majority who drink in moderation and enjoy alcohol responsibly."

The letter was written by the British Beer & Pub Association, the Gin & Vodka Association, the National Association of Cider Makers, the Scotch Whisky Association and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Consumer group The Campaign for Real Ale said: "The proposals made by the Social Policy Justice Group are as flawed as they are naïve. A beer tax increase of 10% will lead to people buying their alcohol at supermarkets where beer is irresponsibly used as a loss leader."

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By Christopher Walton

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